Assorted links

by on January 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Via Chris F. Masse, paying customers to read your book.

2. Stealth wear.

3. The culture that is Dutch.

4. Matt Yglesias on China.

5. Why is NBA scoring now less concentrated?

6. Billie Holiday on occupational licensing.

7. Review of a Texas middle school economics textbook (possibly unreliable).

8. Good Bhagwati interview on the Indian economy.

sam January 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Thanks, those links were Jewsum

Roy January 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm

7. The unreliability of this review is clear from the beginning. In Texas the economics requirement is in the second half of the last year of high school, 12th grade. This requirement has existed since the 1980s at least, I took this class myself back then. The current class is titled: §118.4. Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits, High School (One-Half Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012. The first half of the year is US and Texas government.

The review states this class is taken in the last year of jr high, 8th grade in Texas. The 8th grade curriculum for social studies, is US history to Reconstruction. As to all the other spurious facts in the review, they are pretty clear, so I need not comment in them, though let me assure you that the comic book part is a patent falsehood.

gwern January 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm

> 5. Why is NBA scoring now less concentrated?

Could this be the same effect as Gould’s no-more-.500-batters essay? Concentration indicates a few really good players, so as defense catches up in quality, scoring will go down and be more dispersed. (Scoring being down is consistent with this.) Although the writer credits new defensive tactics, and that does seem more consistent with an abrupt drop over a few years.

Miley Cyrax January 19, 2013 at 2:59 pm

@5
“Maybe they’re just shooting less? Maybe stat geekery has inspired some kind of revolution in thinking, and suddenly all those inefficient gunners are thinking twice about jacking up bad shots?

Despite the lack of total points, top players do have slightly better field goal percentage (46.7 compared to 45.7 percent) this year compared to five years ago.”

This was my immediate reaction when I read the title of the link. The defense and free throws hypotheses are also reasonable.

Corey January 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Re: NBA scoring, same thing is happening in hockey.

Kent Guida January 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm

That economics book review is clearly intended as a parody. You can tell by the fact that it is set in Texas, which, for the author and his little friends, is not a real place but a mythical one. One could write the mirror-image parody of socialist indoctrination, and it would be set on the upper West Side or Marin county. If you need an entire state to carry it off, try Vermont.
PS – There is no book with that title known to Mr. Google.

Roy January 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I actually looked up what textbook is used for Economics in Dallas and Houston ISDs. It is “Economics: Principles & Practices” from McGraw-Hill, this is the most common HS economics text in the US.

Larry Siegel January 20, 2013 at 6:14 am

Um, yeah. It has the feel of an Alan Sokal-type hoax. The Economics Department of the University of Chicago, where I was once a research associate, does not accept commissions. Individual professors or small co-authorial groups of professors do. The quoted language is inappropriate for middle schoolers; way too hard. The book is not available from Amazon. The dedication to Pinochet is a tip-off that something is rotten in Denmark.

I liked the “review” so much I’m considering writing the anti-liberal version, suggested by Mr. Guida, myself. It will be called “Heather Has Two High Marginal Productivity Mommies: a Review.” I hope Tyler links to it.

observor January 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm

+1 4 kent guida

observor January 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm

#6, great quote from an artist and a giver

observor January 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm

just filling in for those of you who only comment during working hours

observor January 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm

and thankful for the diverse links and commentary

So Much for Subtlety January 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm

And even though there’s a lot to criticize in the regime in Beijing, there’s something genuinely admirable about the Chinese government’s determination to not simply suffer through a years-long span of mass unemployment for the sake of avoiding the occasional embarassing white elephant project.

I am sorry but does he really think this is what the issue is? Matty is joining Erza Klein in my “How the f**K do these people get jobs?” file.

Although as a country with a government-run Union system, enormous worker turn over, and roughly no benefits at all for people out of work, the levers of monetary adjustment are a little easier to use than in, say, Europe. So not really any need for years-long run of unemployment. They don’t even bother to count them for one thing.

Bradley Gardner January 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm

re: Matt Yglesias,

Americans seem to be much more convinced about China’s weakness than anyone actually involved with the Chinese economy.

So Much for Subtlety January 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm

That there is a bubble is undeniable. I doubt that even Chinese people deny it. Average income in the country is still about what? $2500 a year? The tiniest apartment on the East Coast costs upwards of $1 million. That is a bubble.

The bubble may have a lot longer to go. It may not. But praising a government on the upward swell of the bubble for not deflating it early is recklessly insane advice.

Rahul January 19, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Depends on how skewed the income distribution looks like. With 1.3 Billion people the right tail might have enough money to afford $1 million apartments.

So Much for Subtlety January 20, 2013 at 5:10 am

Well the income is skewed. Think Brazil. But everything costs a million dollars. Almost without exception.

That is a big right tail. Also a recipe so social unrest. When the Revolution comes, a lot of people are going to be looking at those with apartments and fingering their meat cleavers.

JWatts January 20, 2013 at 9:30 am

“With 1.3 Billion people the right tail might have enough money to afford $1 million apartments.”

Certainly the right tail can afford at least some $1 Million apartment (or $10 million apartments for that matter), but if the supply of $1 million apartments is much greater than the long term demand, you’ve got a bubble.

Bill Benzon January 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Billy Holiday ran up against New York City’s cabaret laws, and she’s hardly the only jazz musician to suffer from them. Thelonius Monk was also hurt badly by them. The major provisions weren’t repealed until the last quarter of the 20th century and one or two provisions may still be in force.

Marginal Revolution Super Hero January 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Most jazz musicians during that time had their cabaret cards taken away at some point. They were all hooked on drugs.

Shane M January 20, 2013 at 12:54 am

On NBA scoring: One idea not included in the article is the lack of quality big man in the games in recent years. This can change the way defenses can play considerably.

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